In the same segment, reported by FAIR's Adam Johnson, Bash complained that "the U.S. hasn't done ...a very good job pushing Russia out of the way," adding that "we've let Russia have too free a hand, in my view, in the skies over Syria." Her colleague Andrea Mitchell responded that "the criticism is that the president is reluctant to go after Russia."The Drum Beats On
This drumbeat of political pressure has forced Trump's hand. He has now directed missiles against Syria, twice. Both attacks carried the risk of military confrontation with the world's other nuclear superpower.
That risk is greater than most people realize, as historian and military strategist Maj. Danny Sjursen explained in our recent conversation.
Trump has now adopted a more aggressive military posture against Russia than Barack Obama. Whatever his personal involvement with the Russian government turns out to have been, it is in nobody's best interests to heighten tensions between two nuclear superpowers.
The national security establishment has been promoting a confrontational approach, but they've been unable to explain how that would lead to a better outcome for the US or the world -- just as they've been unable to explain how unilateral military intervention can lead to a good outcome in Syria.
- Did the airstrikes make Trump "presidential"?
"Amid distraction and dysfunction," wrote Mike Allen and Jonathan Swan for Axios, "Trump looked and acted like a traditional commander-in-chief last night."
The constitutional phrase, "Commander in Chief," was originally understood to underscore the fact that the military is under civilian control. It has devolved into a title that confers a quasi-military rank on the president. That's getting it backwards. The fetishization of all things military is one of the reasons we can't have a balanced debate about military intervention.
Besides, saying that an act of war makes Trump "presidential" -- that's so 2017!
Here's a suggestion: In 1963, John F. Kennedy rejected his generals' advice to strike Soviet installations during the Cuban missile crisis.
Rejecting reckless calls to military action: Now that's a "presidential" act worth bringing back.